Classic Japanese PC gaming (diaspora), etc. | The Maikon Zone

So, I‘m not sure how overkill this thread will become, but I don’t want to leave it shorthanded.

Let's talk about all these games, software, and other curiosities dating back to the turn of the 1980s, arguably still going if you count visual novels and niche J-PC game/hack development. For good measure, let's do the same for non-Japanese, East Asian DOS/Windows games from these eras, as they go too often overlooked.

**Please do not share pirated game download links here.** If you must acquire files, please search on the Internet Archive, forums like Tokugawa Corps., or certain Discord servers. I will do my best to comply with Insert Credit forum best practices.

### Useful links


[, an excellent game library database spanning the following categories](
[Compile Station, D4 Enterprise's portal for Disc Station games and non-Madou Monogatari/Puyo Puyo doodads](
[Project EGG, a Japanese PC/console game subscription service](


[PC-98 emulation guide, courtesy of PC-98 Bot](
[PC-88 emulation guide from Illusion City](


[X68000 knowledge base @ NFGGames](
[X1 emulator guide](


[FM Towns emulation guide from Illusion City](

### Fandom

[AccelJoe, who uploads gamerip versions of J-PC music](
[Hoot archive portal, for playing back J-PC music using the Hoot player (Windows/UNIX via WINE)](

I like these! As it happens I do my personal computing with real hardware and software, like an idiot. I had to make a choice as far as which platform to back, some time ago, and I perhaps foolishly chose Fujitsu because of the consolized fm towns marty - I have a decent selection of games, here, and am currently selling about 15 more, so… Yeah, I‘m all in in this stuff if people are sharing recommendations. I’ll get into my own recommendations later, but for now here's my game stack.

[upl-image-preview url=//]

(a lot of these I just picked up because they were cheap, don't judge the quality ;_; too much)

How much of your collection's going on sale? I asked you about just A-Train IV previously, but Brandish, Lord Monarch, Kigen, Emit, My eyes!, and Lunatic Dawn II all pique my interest.

Rejection's a unique one for sure, and one of those FM Towns exclusives (similar to AZURE or Super Odyssey) I need to mess with at some point.

ah yeah, none of THESE are on sale, these are the keepers (for now, anyway). all the ones on sale are here, at exorbitant prices that I might have to reduce a bit to make them move: | eBay

rejection is cool, and queen of duelist is notable for being the first published work of the (now disgraced) rorouni kenshin artist.

Marine Filt or however you wanna romanize it is the 2nd in the nightmare series that dead of the brain is part of. and My Eyes! is about a lady who becomes friends with an orca. why! why not I guess. lots of cool times in here!

Both Marine Philt (yes, that‘s the in-game romanization) and My eyes! are also way more SFW than their peers, though the former had frankly too many chances to go full sexploitation (and I’m sure dolphin sex wasn‘t off the table either). So that’s something.

Soundtrack of the day:

@PasokonDeacon#326 Meanwhile, I'm playing through Brandish 2–again.

Ice Zone/Green Zone is one of the most padded parts of the game, so I'm not surprised Koei left it out of their Super Famicom port. But at least it gives you extra reason to save Holy weapons, mainly for these guys.

got to love a bonelord

I find brandish basically impossible to play. I get disoriented every time I turn, something about my brain makes me unable to make the transition without them showing it to me. I‘ve tried on PC Engine, I’ve tried on FM Towns, I just can't do it!

Having the compass equipped helps whenever I get disoriented, which happens less than it used to. The tricky bit is doing all these tactical maneuvers during boss fights and tight encounters, all of which test your reflexes. If a new, modern-day Brandish came out tomorrow, it'd switch to using an over-the-shoulder view in no time at all.

@exodus#373 brandish, eh, failed

Tell that to the considerable number of PC-98 owners who bought the series in droves. It was actually Brandish VT that drove most fans away due to a change in perspective (going from top-down to isometric). They managed to stand classic Brandish gamefeel in an age of increasingly accessible alternatives.

@PasokonDeacon#374 There‘s a PSP remake that eventually got translated and put up on the Vita PSN store. It’s pretty decent; very similar to a lot of modern Falcom stuff in mood and playability.

I beat it a while ago. It‘s the Brandish release I most want to see on PC at this point, given that it comes with a much smoother camera and improved UI. A few people I know shy away from classic Brandish had no trouble getting into it via Dark Revenant, though it’s sadly the only remake of its kind.

I feel like a jerk but that psp one… it just looks so ugly to me ;_; they just chose a bunch of 90s animation vomit colors and put them together in one game

I keep meaning to get around to playing some PC-98 games, but a total lack of Japanese knowledge and a similar lack of time holds me back. The soundtrack from Starfire really does it for me (most PC-98 OSTs do), and the screens from PC-98 bot are a neverending source of joy. I particularly love the massive huds/frames with really amazing designs and art, with relatively small play fields.

Brandish is a weird one, but I appreciate that they're doing something so different.

@PasokonDeacon#378 [upl-image-preview url=//]

All too aware.

I'm about to dig through more of Compile's Disc Station releases, spanning the MSX2, PC-98, and early Windows9x eras. The developer's mostly known for Puyo Puyo, Madou Monogatari, and their classic shooters, but most of the company's experiments and smaller games featured exclusively in their Disc Station products.

Each Disc Station release came as a magazine (or book, starting in 1993), with either floppies or CD-DA disks depending on the era. The books contained both manual info re: using their disks, but also articles, interviews, and fan submissions revolving around Compile staff and the company's games. It's easy to get all the disks these days, but I haven't had much luck finding scans of the magazines/books proper.

Examples of the Compile games unique to Disc Station:

Applesauce Sniper, the first Windows entry in a long line of casual puzzle-/quiz-centric, mouse-based game playgrounds:

Transborder, a small riff on Spy Hunter and similar start-to-finish arcade racers:

Windows installments of Disc Station are more accessible than ever, but I find it easiest to subscribe to Project EGG and then download the highlights off of Compile Station. (Many PC-98 Disc Station games are also available for free via the main EGG player service.)

It's interesting to note that the earliest Disc Station releases also featured game/software previews for releases from other developers, like Game Arts and Namco. Compile would continue to leverage their connections forged during contract work days (as Programmers-3) to make themselves a pillar of the late MSXx and PC-98 software markets.

@PasokonDeacon#459 This sounds truly amazing. The idea of a full on magazine + game combo just sounds so cool. I didn‘t really get into reading articles about games until the medium was dying, so I have a weird draw to that stuff.

I’m definitely going to have to look into EGG (thank you for the handy links in the first post).

Transborder is giving me a Spy Hunter vibe - I'm pretty fascinated by these sorts of magazine+game combos. On the physical release side, you get stuff like the PC Engine tankoubons which have unique minigames on them, or the saturn game collections (digital magazine), etc.

Then you've got those BASIC magazines which had type-in game programs that taught like 80% (not a real number) of early Japanese game devs how to code, including folks like Yuzo Koshiro. I sure hope all this stuff is being preserved somewhere, somehowwwwwwwww. I know a lot of it is at the tokyo diet library!

Shmuplations/blackoak‘s done a lot of trawling at the Tokyo Diet library already, but I haven’t found any scan sets for Micom BASIC yet. That would be a big project for someone to tackle, and very important to achieve so that we can preserve so much type-in soft. Good point about similar disc magazines on PC Engine (CD) and Saturn, the latter of which I vaguely recall now.

Incidentally, the Neo Kobe packs usually come with a number of Micom BASIC-exclusive type-in games, complete with scanned hex/BASIC code listings for manual compilation. I wish we had more than just partial scans, but it'll take a lot of time and effort to get unofficial scans made. The Game Preservation Society presumably has their own collection which is reference-/request-only.